Monday, December 11, 2023

No quick fix for Mt Taranaki circuit

Mount Taranaki’s Around the Mountain Circuit (AMC) could be closed for several months after significant damage to the track during storms in July.

Department of Conservation (DOC) rangers have been busy assessing and repairing track damage on the Maunga during the past few weeks after the storm over the weekend of 18 and 19 July.

DOC’s Taranaki District Ranger Supervisor, Andy Johnston says that while tree windfalls and some small slips have been repaired, other tracks will take time to fix. The most severe damage includes a blowout on a tributary of the Waiaua River creating a deep canyon, blocking access to Waiaua Gorge Hut from the upper Ihaia Track/western side of the mountain.

“It’s unfortunately not an easy fix. A flood has caused large amounts of erosion along the entire stream channel creating a canyon up to 15m deep in some sections. The resulting debris of mud, rocks and uprooted trees has spread over a large area downstream. This area is inaccessible and dangerous,” he said.

“We’re looking at whether we can reroute the Ihaia Track lower downstream and back up to the Waiaua Gorge Hut, but this will take time due to the amount of erosion and the challenge of finding a suitable safe route through the area.”

No timeframe can be given for reopening of the track but it’s likely to be months rather than weeks, said Mr Johnston.

Trampers are urged to check for up-to-date track conditions on the DOC website or contact North Egmont Visitor Centre prior to heading outdoors.

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